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You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
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Subaru Outback, Wagon, SUV
#842 of 3458 05 used Outback Wagon: Boston, MA area - LONG
Mar 13, 2006 (9:27 am)
I am looking at 2005 used OB wagons. The best price range I can find in the South Shore/Boston,MA area is $19,500 - $19,995 for one with anywhere between 15K and 22K miles. The in-service dates are all 12/04 - 3/05 or so (according to Carfax). All of the vehicles I am considering are Automatics.
I did find one "lost leader" (2005 with comparable mileage, in-service date etc.) at a dealership about 40 miles away in Central Massachusetts for $17,700. Of course that one sold towards the end of February. They do have some similar 2005s in the $18,700 -$18,900 range. Using Carfax it appears that they were all bought at Auction in early March and most are former "daily rentals", one may be a former lease. This doesn't bother me too much since I am planning on buying a "Subaru Added Security Plan" (more on that later.)
I had been working with the internet manager over the phone to see if he could get one of the lower priced ones within striking range of $17,700. Ultimately I got a voice mail message from one of the owners. After playing voice mail tag I did speak with yet a third person (calling on behalf of the owner) who basically said these prices were firm. This came as a bit of a surprise since the vibe I got from the internet manager is that there may have been one or two they would have had some flexibility on. I think I should still be able to save at least $150.00 using their "Internet Savings" certificate and another $150.00 if I set up a test drive appointment through their website. So, theoretically I should be able to get a 2005 for $18,400 -$18,700, representing a potential savings off of the local vehicles of $1000.00 to $1,600.00
Also, the Central Mass dealership does have one 2004 for $17,700. It has about 35K miles and a Feb/04 in-service date. What I would be losing is about 1 year of original Mfr warranty and side curtain airbags. (Unless anyone can point out any other differences that I am missing).
Obviously I am reaching the point where I need to re-visit my local dealership (with the $19,995 2005 OB) &/or finally visit the Central Mass dealership.
I'd appreciate some insight into whether the Central Mass dealership may have more flexibility in their prices, since they bought these vehicles at auction, or whether I should focus on trying to get the local dealer down by about $1000.00. The local vehicle has a little less time left on warranty but significantly lower mileage. It also has these "options": security system upgrade ($98.00), all weather mats ($55.00), and cargo net ($45.00). As I understand it, the usual security system is just a "Dummy" flashing light but the upgrade actually makes noise. As long as the light alone qualifies me for the insurance discount I'm not sure the security upgrade would mean anything to me.
I don't know how motivated the local dealer would be. I tested the waters before I realized the $17,700 lost leader had sold and they made it clear they weren't coming down to $17,700 or $18,500 but they never made a counter-offer. They have a reputation for not negotiating but have been known to come down by $1000.00. If it matters, they acquired this 2005 OB wagon at an auction in January of 2006 but it is one of the few vehicles they have in this category, compared to the Central Mass dealership. They have it marked as a "super saver", I think because it's white. The only other vehicle they have in this category is about the same price with slightly higher mileage but more time left on warranty. However, they acquired this one at auction much more recently.
So, I would appreciate any thoughts on where to go from here. Do you think either of these dealerships would be more motivated towards the end of the month? I had considered waiting until the Summer but if the current prices on used 2004s are any indication I'm not sure the 2005s would be significantly cheaper then. If only because the more reasonably priced ones seem to be former daily rentals bought at auction and I have no idea when those might be hitting the dealers' lots again. Not to mention if I wait too long then we would be getting closer to the Fall/Winter and I'm guessing AWD vehicles will be at more of a premium then.
Regarding the warranty, for a non-turbo, $0.00 Deductible, Gold Plus, 7 yr / 100K warranty the best price I found over the phone was $1,530. He faxed me a quote and the $1,530 was crossed out and replaced with $1,430. That's slightly better than 40% off the $2,460 MSRP. I'm guessing that's as good as it's going to get but if anyone is aware of a better deal please let me know.
Again, I'd appreciate any feedback on how to negotiate on any of the vehicles described above and whether I found a pretty good deal on the warranty.
#843 of 3458 Re: Bought my third Outback! [hoople]
Mar 13, 2006 (9:56 am)
I realize that you are buying a 2006 but are you under the impression you are buying a new vehicle(possibly a demo) or a used one? How many miles are on it?
Since this almost seems to be a "too good to be true" price, I think what Raybear is suggesting is that this may be a used vehicle that the dealer picked up at auction. The big tipoff would probably be mileage. Although it is possible for the miles to be so low that you might take the vehicle for a demo. Worse yet, it is theoretically possible for the miles to be so low that it might be a flood vehicle (e.g.: Katrina).
In my case, I am looking at a number of used 2005 OB Wagons that I know are former daily rentals that were purchased by the dealer at auction. I learned this through Carfax, which you may have heard of before.
Here is there link:
If you haven't heard of them, they are essentially a service that has developed a database of used vehicles through public --and some private-- sources of information including the Registry of Motor Vehicles (for purchase info) and State police (for accident info). If they give you a clean report, they offer a “Buyback” guarantee against certain problems (odometer rollback, salvage titles, etc.), but you need to register with them within 30 days or so to be eligible. I should note that they aren't the only service like this out there.
If you have any question about whether the vehicle has been represented to you accurately I would definitely spend the $19.99 or so to get a report from one of these types of services.
For anyone else who is in the market for a used vehicle and thinks they will need to look up more than one vehicle, with Carfax you can get a 30 day membership and look up an unlimited number of vehicles for $24.99.
Let us know what you learn.
#844 of 3458 Re: Bought my third Outback! [cathmac]
Mar 13, 2006 (11:27 am)
Now you got me worried! But.....I test drove the car. It had less than 3 miles on the odometer. I have the VIN number on this vehicle. I also had asked the dealer if this stock came from flood areas (Katrina) He looked at me like I was crazy...but I made him sign the agreement that it was NOT a flood car!
I have heard about Carfax. But never thinking it could be used for NEW cars! So if I enter my VIN # to the site will it come back as a NEW CAR? Would it tell me where the car started is journey to my dealer?
I pick the car up Friday (unless it snows!..not ready to test the 4WD right out of the showroom!)
If I ask the dealer if the car is from an Auction...do they have to disclose the details?
The deal just seemed too smooth! I started to question if I had taken the correct invoice price from the internet!
Looking forward to what the group suggests I do BEFORE I give the final check!!
#846 of 3458 Re: Bought my third Outback! [hoople]
Mar 13, 2006 (12:21 pm)
Bought for $21,300!!!
Congrats, it's a really super deal!
For other potential buyers, check http://www.fitzmall.com before you go to a dealer.
Right now, the cheapest Outbacks are:
OBK 2.5i Manual
OBK 2.5i Auto
#847 of 3458 Re: Bought my third Outback! [drfill]
Mar 13, 2006 (1:28 pm)
I feel much better knowing that you drove the vehicle and it had less than 3 miles on the odometer. Of all the hypothetical things you have to worry about I think you’ve ruled out the worst case scenario in having them sign something assuring you it isn’t a flood vehicle.
To try and answer your latest questions:
I have a current Carfax subscription; I ran a Vin for a new 2006 Outback and got the following notation: “The CARFAX© database currently contains no records for this vehicle. Please check back again soon, as our database is continually updated.”
Regarding what the dealer must disclose about the vehicle, that probably varies depending upon state law. However, there are a few basic principles of contract law that probably apply here: 1) The duty of each party to deal with each other in “good faith” and 2) the duty of the Seller to disclose anything that has a material affect on the value of the item being sold. That begs the question of what is “good faith” and what has a "material affect" on the value. For the sake of discussion, assuming that the vehicle is “Used” they would probably have to let you know that since there is a big difference in price between a new and a used vehicle, even for one of the most current model year. A demo may fall into a gray area but I would think most reputable dealers would let you know that and, again, the mileage would probably be a tipoff. I think Subaru also has “Used / Executive” cars driven by Subaru dealer owners and the like. I see this notation on cars available for sale in my area but don’t know whether these are technically “Used” and whether the “Used” and/or “Executive” notation is required. My guess is the “Executive” notation is a more appealing way of putting people on notice that it’s “Used”. However that’s not likely to be an issue with a car that has only 3 miles on it unless the odometer has been rolled back.
If the vehicle has been disclosed as “Used” then they probably don’t have to tell you how they acquired the vehicle (e.g. at auction). On the other hand, regardless of how they acquired the vehicle in all likelihood they need to tell you if they know --or have reason to suspect-- that it is some sort of salvage or flood vehicle.
I think that, as with the purchase of a house, the duty to disclose negative information is weakened if the Buyer has the right of inspection and the negative info in question could have been discovered by inspection. Of course, very few people that think they are buying a new car would ask if they could have the vehicle inspected.
As a practical matter, in my limited observation, oftentimes very intelligent buyers are “put on notice” of critical information by way of the paperwork. As an example, I have a friend that got a great price on a used van only to find out that he had “signed for” income disability insurance and an extended aftermarket warranty after he had specifically told them he didn’t want or need either. However, he didn’t look at the paperwork carefully enough. Fortunately that story has a happy ending. I won’t bore you with the details except to say that I got involved at the eleventh hour.
For what it’s worth this is the course of action I suggest: 1) Check your paperwork. In addition to reviewing what you do have copies of make sure you aren’t “missing” anything they might “accidentally” have forgotten to give you a copy of. 2) Call or better yet visit the dealership and “go over” the paperwork with them; that’s your best way of making sure that they don’t have a copy of something you don’t have 3) As an alternative to #2, take the more direct approach and simply call and ask. 4) Finally, I would definitely try to run a Carfax, if it comes back without a record you are probably ok. I do wonder if you sign up for the one report and it comes back with no record if you’d get a refund but I think that’s the least of your worries.
It’s kind of sad that when you get a good deal you almost have to start to wonder if it’s too good to be true.
Good luck and keep us posted. ~Cath
#848 of 3458 Re: Bought my third Outback! [drfill]
Mar 14, 2006 (5:36 am)
I am replying again because it just occurred to me that there may be a much more practical direct way to get some useful history on the vehicle.
Try calling Subaru of America Customer Service &/or Warranty. Generally their policy is to not give info regarding a vehicle to you unless you are the owner but in the past I have had some luck calling them regarding extended warranty eligibility on vehicles I am interested in once they knew I currently owned a Subaru (which sounds like your situation). Be prepared to give them the VIN # of your current vehicle.
You don't necessarily have to open with any alarming, inflammatory questions such as "is it a flood vehicle". You might start by simply asking if it is eligible for an extended warranty and if so what the in-service date would be.
Which brings me to another point, if you are interested in an extended warranty I think I found the price to beat at Stacy Subaru, Brattleboro VT. Check my posting one or two pages back for the details on a 7 year / 100K, Gold Plus, $0.00 Deductible.
Good luck, I'm anxious to hear how things work out for you.
#849 of 3458 Re: Bought my third Outback! [cathmac]
Mar 14, 2006 (6:53 am)
Excellent points Cathy...Thanks
Here is an update. Ran the VIN thru Carfax free Test Run....came back as "No Recornd of Vin..or something like that. I guess that is a good thing since it had not been titled as yet!
I am also very interested in an extended warrenty! Here is another interesting "Becker" touch, they (Becker) will offer extended warrenty that basically covers what Subaru New car warrenty covers. But with an interesting twist!
They will refund "ALL" $ of what you paid for the xtd warrenty if you do NOT make use of it!!
So, for ex: if you purchase 7yr. ,100,000 package, and do not lay any claims against it, (Which they will check with S.O.A) they will cut a check at 100% refund.
I have never had an extended car warrenty, but I think I want to go with one this time.
I will check out your info on the Warrenty
#850 of 3458 Re: Bought my third Outback! [hoople]
Mar 14, 2006 (9:32 am)
I'm glad to hear you got a "No Record" from Carfax. Even with my active imagination I can't come up with a scenario where one dealership's catastrophe damaged vehicle would wind up on another dealer's lot in a different state. So as long as the Carfax "No Record" is accurate you should be ok. Although I'm sure a conspiracy theorist could come up with something to worry about. For additional peace of mind you might try to subtly get more info on the history of the car from the dealer --in the natural course of things-- and/or contact Subaru Warranty once you are the titled owner.
I am a big fan of extended Mfr's warranties. As much as I loved my OB Sport the extended warranty got quite a work out. I spent about $900.00 on the warranty but I had more than $2000.00 worth of warranty work including: --a $1,350.00 short engine block replacement, for the part alone, not including labor; --rear differential, $700.00 +/- on the part alone; several wheel bearings (at least $100.00 or so each), etc.
Regarding Becker's Warranty, I'm guessing it's not backed by Subaru and that you won't be able to go to just any old Subaru dealership. (Although I am thrown by your comment that they will "check with S.O.A." for any claims against the warranty, which implies that some --if not all-- other dealers will accept it). Even if there is a Subaru near you that will honor it now there is no guarantee they will do so in one or two years. You may have the option of having the work done and then submitting the paperwork for reimbursement but you have no way of knowing how difficult or time-consuming the claims process might be.
Additionally, even if you lived near them (which you don't) there is a built in disincentive for you to use it. Would you make a $150.00 claim against the warranty in year one if you think you might not use it again for the next three years? Would you make a $300.00 claim in year two where you've already passed on $150.00 in year one and you may still get a full refund in year three?
In the meanwhile, they are earning interest on your money.
So, even if I lived near this dealership and I believed they would be around forever I would not consider buying the "Becker" warranty unless I could refrain from submitting any claims until they cumulatively exceed the cost of the warranty. In other words, the time limit on submitting claims is generous enough that at any point --even towards the end of the life of the warranty-- you could submit all claims for consideration; which of course you would only do if the total dollar amount on the claims exceeded the cost of the warranty.
Even then, however, you face the risk they won't pay all of the claims and you would have done better if you'd sought reimbursement of the cost of the warranty.
My instinct is you are better off shopping around for the best price you can find on a Manufacturer backed "Subaru Added Security" Plan.
I know we aren't suppposed to post phone numbers but the name of the dealership I found the price to beat on the warranty is Stacy Subaru in Brattleboro, VT. The contact person is Luke Higly (sp?).
By the way, when you say you got the base model am I correct in assuming it is the 2.5i Sedan, with the couple of extra options you described? Is it an automatic?
I am curious since I am in the market for a 2005 wagon and I'm trying to get some perspective on the price ranges I am seeing in my area. Just for the fun of it I requested a quote on a base OB Wagon from Becker. If the price is right it might be worth a ride to PA from MA.
Once again, good luck and keep us posted.
#851 of 3458 Re: Bought my third Outback! [era174]
Mar 14, 2006 (11:31 am)
I just visited the Fitzmall website and I'm pretty impressed. These prices are close to what Hoople paid for his. It looks like a brand new 2006 OB/Legacy Wagon is $21,700 or only about $3,000 more than the least expensive used 2005 with about average miles and 1 1/2 to 2 years left on the original Mfr warranty. In fact, a fair number of dealers in my area are asking for about that much on some used 2005s.
Before I get too excited, I live in Eastern MA, on the coast in the Boston area, and their Automalls are in PA, FL & MD. Am I correct in assuming you would have to pick up the car at one of their automalls? If so, I might be able to make that work if one of the PA automalls is right on the NY / NJ border. I'd have to do all of the advance work by phone, fax, email, etc. and then my husband and I would have to drive out together to pick it up but for the savings it could be worth it.
Have you dealt with Fitzmall &/or any of their automalls yourself? Do they have a good reputation?
In the alternative, how likely do you think it is that I could get a dealer that's local to me match their prices?
Thanks for the info and feedback.